33% of York Catholic school board staff, 14.2% at public board haven’t filled out vaccination attestation forms
Many staff state they've been vaccinated, but must still submit mandatory paperwork
Sept. 28, 2021
As of Sept. 28, the York Catholic District School Board website shows 88.2 per cent of staff have attested to being fully vaccinated, with or without supporting documentation.
However, 33 per cent, or roughly 2,745 staff, haven't yet submitted an attestation form.
At York Region District School Board, 77.55 per cent of staff have attested to being fully vaccinated, but 14.19 per cent have not yet submitted an attestation form.
Also, York public says that out of the school board employees and trustees who attested to being vaccinated, 92.9 per cent have stated they are fully vaccinated.
These numbers are being continuously updated as staff members complete the vaccination attestation. The numbers have also increased from what was previously reported.
For example, on Sept. 22, the total number of YCDSB staff who have attested to being fully vaccinated with and without supporting document was 59 per cent.
At the time, Mike Totten, president for the York Region branch of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association, explained that the percentage was low because it was still “preliminary.”
“The vaccination disclosure percentages currently being reported are preliminary and reflect the number of individuals who disclosed their vaccination status at the date of reporting,” Totten said.
The OECTA president described how the “Ford government announced this policy late on the Friday (Sep. 3) before the start of this school year.”
York Catholic schools began their year Wednesday, Sept. 8.
“It will likely take some time before school boards are able to collect complete data from all employees and report the vaccination rate totals to truly reflect where the board is at,” he added. “I am confident that the vaccination rate among York Catholic teachers will be reflective of the high percentages we are seeing in our wider communities.”
The education minister’s spokesperson Caitlin Clark told Yorkregion.com that, “We expect all staff to be fully vaccinated or subject to twice-weekly testing, along with rigorous screening before they enter Ontario schools.
“By strictly following this guidance, approved by Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, in addition to province-wide ventilation upgrades and over 1,730 HEPA units within York region classrooms, we will keep schools as safe as possible,” she added.
People who are not vaccinated and have no documented medical exemption are required by the ministry to view an educational video about the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines, outside of working hours, using a video resource that is specified by the Ministry of Education itself.
In addition, all individuals who are not fully vaccinated, including those with a medical exemption, are required to complete COVID-19 rapid antigen testing twice per week.
Meanwhile, York Region Public Health’s director of corporate communications Patrick Casey said the new immunization disclosure policy requires school staff to disclose their immunization status, and this policy has been implemented collaboratively between school boards and the Ministry of Education.
Furthermore, the region is providing ongoing support through public health measures, he added.
Casey also explained staff who have not disclosed their vaccination status would be required to self-isolate following COVID-19 exposure at school.
“When there is an exposure in schools, all staff who have not participated in the vaccine disclosure policy will be asked to isolate for 10 days following their last exposure to the case, which continues to mitigate the risk of transmission within the school.”
Casey also said that a series of vaccination clinic have already been set up within schools during and after operating hours across the region to allow convenient access to vaccines.For more information on walk-in community hubs and pop-up clinics, visit York.ca/COVID19Vaccine.